P. O. Box 440
Garrison, NY 10524
Phone: (845) 424-4689
Cell: (914) 393-1462
Email: bgimelson@aol.com

Browse by Name: 
The First African American to Receive a Doctorate in Psychology from Columbia University
(Black Americana) Kenneth Clark (USA, 1914 - 2005)

TLS, 1p, 4to, Northside Center for Child Development, Inc, New York, September 15, 1955. To Dr.Andrew M.Burris.

Important letter from a pioneering black psychologist who, with his wife, extensively studied the damaging effects of racism and segregation to both black and white children. Reads in part, "It was good to receive your warm, kind and thoughtful letter about "Prejudice and Your Child". I was so moved by your approval of what I was trying g to do that I immediately called the publishers and read them the portion of the letter in which you described your difficulty in attempting to purchase a copy of the book and your question about New York reviewers. They insist that the book will be reviewed- that it cannot long be ignored. THey have sent me copies of reviews which have appeared in the Chattanooga Times, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor and other newspapers…they have described the book as a serious scholarly and calm appraisal of an important social problem…not one of the New York papers has yet reviewed it…It might be that the general American public is not ready to accept this approach to the problem of racial prejudice…"


Warren Gamaliel Harding (USA, 1865 - 1923)

WARREN GAMALIEL HARDING (1865-1923) Twenty-ninth President of the United States. Autograph Telegram Signed “Harding”, ˝ page, 4to, to Secretary of State, Charles Evans Hughes. At the top is a notation by the telegrapher, “Wired/ 7/27/23 E.U.S.”

President Harding writes:

“Hughes Department of State Washington, D.C.

Thank you for your good letter x Much interested in enclosures x We found and left Vancouver cordially neighborly Harding”

Undoubtedly the last example of a letter written by President Harding as he died on the evening of August 2, 1923, just six days after he sent this telegram to Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes from Washington. He and his entourage had taken a train to the West, becoming the first sitting President to visit Alaska and Canada. On the 26th of July he gave a speech at the University of Washington stadium to 25,000 people but rushed through it and did not even wait for applause. After experiencing abdominal pain, on the advice of his physician Dr. Charles Sawyer who thought his recurrence was from an previous dietary upset, Harding went to bed early on the 27th. The Presidential train pulled into San Francisco on the 29th and Harding insisted on walking to the car,which whisked him away to the Palace Hotel. It was discovered by another doctor that he had a heart problem and was suffering from pneumonia, and was having a relapse. Confined to bed, he was treated with caffeine and digitalis, which provided enough relief that he was allowed to sit up on August 2nd. His wife read a magazine article praising the President and his last words were, “…that’s good, read some more”, as he fell back on his pillow and died.


President Andrew Johnson Issues a Pass Allowing General John W. Denver to Visit Benjamin Ficklin, a Prisoner in The Old Capital Prison, as Counsel
Andrew Johnson (USA, 1808 - 1875)

ANDREW JOHNSON (1808-1875). Seventeenth President of the United States who took office upon the assassination President Abraham Lincoln. Partly printed DS, 1p, oblong 8vo, Executive Mansion, Washington, D.C., June 12th, 1865. With the original printed envelope “From the President of the United States.” And a manuscript endorsement to the left, “Pass to see Ficklin”.

A rare pass granting permission to “General Denver to visit – Ficklin, a prisoner in the Old Capitol Prison and confer with him as counsel privately, till further orders. Andrew Johnson.” Extremely rare as very few people were allowed into this prison which housed several conspirators and Civil War criminals.

General James William “Jim” Denver (1817-1892). American politician, soldier, and lawyer. Served as a Democratic Representative from California, Governor of Kansas Territory, and practiced law after the Civil War. The City of Denver is named after him.

Benjamin Franklin Ficklin (1827-1871) Graduate of VMI; helped establish the Pony Express and other mail routes in the U.S.; partly responsible for the formation of the Pacific Telegraph Company. While on a secret peace mission for the Confederacy toward the end of the war, he was in Washington at the time of Lincoln’s assassination. He had been a purchasing agent and an intelligence officer for the Confederate States. He was arrested by Federal troops and placed in The Old Capitol Prison; Mary Surratt, John Ford, and Dr. Samuel Mudd, John Mosby, and Henry Wirz were fellow inmates when Ficklin was imprisoned. Due to his connections and with the help General Denver, Ficklin was exonerated.


Iconic Photograph of Caroline Greeting JFK As He Departs Air Force I
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (USA, 1917 - 1963)

Inscribed Photograph Signed by Hamilton Secretary I ("To Cornelius Greenway D.D. with best wishes John Kennedy"), quarto, framed with Presidential seal issued by the Treasury Department in the 1960's. Photograph probably accomplished by White House photographer Robert LeRoy Knudsen. From the collection of Reverend Cornelius Greenway, sold by Parke-Bernet in the early 1970's and purchased directly from that sale.


Moses Levy- The First Philadelphia Jewish Lawyer
(Judaica) Moses Levy (USA, 1757 - 1826)

Partial ADS "M Levy", 1p, oblong 8vo.Reads, "April 11.1790. Rec'd from the above W. Rawle Esquire to be entered up in New Castle County. M Levy".

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he was the son of Samson Levy, scion of a prominent Philadelphia family.He was admitted to the Bar on March 19, 1778, becoming the first practicing Jewish lawyer in Philadelphia. A very scarce autograph.


Census From 1830 of "Free Whites, Slaves & Free Persons of Color" in East Tennessee
William C. Mynatt (USA, 1831 - 1831)

Autograph Document Signed, 2pp, 4to, [Knoxville, TE],District of East Tennessee, June 3, 1831.

An interesting historic census document for East Tennessee listing how many Whites, Slaves, and "Colored Free Persons" were living in 22 counties. The total numberds were quite large- "Whites 182115, Slaves 17873, Free Colored Person 1936".

Mynatt, a War of 1812 Aid-de-camp to General Cocke, and later Mayor of Knoxville, signs the document twice.


The Great Ceramatist and Painter Henry Varnum Poor Defines "Art Talent"
Henry Varnum Poor (USA, 1887 - 1970)

ALS, 1p, 4to, no date but circa 1934, on verso of a letter from Rose T. Marucci, asking him "...how art talent may be defined..." Poor, at the time one of the most important artists in the country, responds, "The most basic thing in what you call "Art Talent" is I think a constructive sense. It is not at all uncommon - I should imagine we think of all children as constructive. It is apt to be largely physical - to lie in the body & hands as much as brain. Mechanically minded boys, girls who sew etc have this. From this group comes the smaller group who have temperament - or interest - or love of some form of art which becomes conscious. Among these, the few who have sustaining will power to carry their basic endowment continually higher make up the few who may be creative artists. The intensity & stamina of the will is I think the really controlling factor. Sincerely, Henry V.Poor".


Franked Envelope and Letter of Edith Kermit Roosevelt, Second Wife and First Lady to Theodore Roosevelt
Edith Kermit Roosevelt (USA, 1861 - 1948)

Small envelope bearing a franking signature of Edith K.Roosevelt in upper right corner, addressed to "Miss Rosa Mordecai" in Washington, DC. Also has a circular "Oyster BAy, NY" postmark dated Oct.29, 1927. Included is a two page Autograph Note Signed which reads, "Oct.29th. Sagamore Hill. Dear Miss Mordecai, All my thanks for your letter of affectionate remembrance. And thanks for the cards.I wish each lived nearer to each of us. E. Nicks & her friends are to be in Switzerland this winter. I miss them sadly. Affectionately your friend, Edith Kermit Roosevelt"

Rosa Mordecai was a scion of a distinguished Jewish family of merchants, physicians, educators, soldiers, philanthropists, and reformers. Faith in education as the path toward equality of opportunity was instilled in Rosa Mordecai by her father, Alfred Mordecai—a distinguished educator and businessman, the first Jewish graduate of West Point, and the foremost expert on munitions in antebellum America—and her mother, Sarah (Hays), niece of rebecca gratz, the founder of the first Hebrew Sunday school in America.


Eleanor Roosevelt Signed White House Card
Eleanor Roosevelt (USA, 1884 - 1962)

Scarce White house card signed. Mrs. Roosevelt had the longest tenure of any first lady.


First Day Cover Signed by Eric Sloan, Peter Hurd, and Henrietta Wyeth
Eric Sloane (USA, 1905 - 1985)

A first day cover of the 1962 Winslow Homer stamp signed by Eric Sloane, Peter Hurd (1904-1984), and Henriette Wyeth (Hurd, 1907-1997).The cover is postmarked, Gloucester, Mass, Dec.15, 1962 and bears a 4˘ stamp honoring Winslow Homer.

Eric Sloane had studied under N. C. Wyeth and was an important muralist, and authored numerous art books. Peter Hurd was a western artist who also studied under N.C.Wyeth. eventually marrying his daughter, Henriette, also a renowned artist. Accompanying the signed cover is a photograph of Peter Hurd and his wife Henriette in later life.


A Note in the Hand of Future Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney
Roger Brooke Taney (USA, 1777 - 1864)

ADS, 1p, oblong 8vo, Feb.2, 1813, while in private practice. An authorization for another lawyer to deliver papers in a lawsuit.Taney later became the fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1836-1864) and delivered the majority decision in the 1857 Dred Scott case which ruled among other things that congress had no right to restrict the spread of slavery into Federal territories. This decision has been widely viewed by historians as one of the causes of the Civil War.


Truman Letter in the Last year of His Life
Harry S Truman (USA, 1884 - 1972)

President. TLS, 1p, 4to, Independence, Missouri, January 11, 1972. Sends a signed photograph (not enclosed); signed with his shaky aged signature.